Study shows Memphis improved breast cancer numbers among African-American women

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Black women in Memphis are more than twice as likely to die from breast cancer as white women. That information is according to Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium (MBCC), a group aimed at changing those statistics.

A study conducted by the Avon Foundation for Women in 2014 noted this unsettling trend in Memphis as the worst of 40 large cities.

"Unfortunately at that time, Memphis was like number one out of 50 of the largest U.S. cities," said Carla Baker, MBCC. "We believe a lot of it had to do with people really not being fully informed on the importance of mammograms and early detection."

That's why MBCC was created to make sure African-American women are getting the treatment they need, too.

New numbers were released last year, though, dropping Memphis to number seven on the list.

Baker credits the 31 organizations that made it their goal to move the needle even more.

Key zip codes were identified within the county as having the highest breast cancer mortality rates and many of them don't have close access to mammogram centers.

"So, both Baptist and Methodist hospitals, which are partners and members of MBCC, are sending their mobile vans out to those areas so people can get their mammograms," Baker said.

The Avon Breast Cancer Foundation provided financial support to MBCC to help its efforts and raise awareness that breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence.

"If a woman cannot fully cover the price of a mammogram, they can get assistance, so there's almost no reason a woman should not get that very needed mammogram," Baker explained.

Many of the organizations involved have events happening every day and weekend.

For more information about Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium, click here.

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